Flex Box article in .net magazine

Warning This article was written over six months ago, and may contain outdated information.

I’m very proud to have my sec­ond arti­cle pub­lished in .net mag­a­zine this month. It’s an intro­duc­tion to the Flex­i­ble Box Lay­out mod­ule (Flex Box), which is cur­rent­ly imple­ment­ed in Fire­fox and WebKit browsers and has made a ten­ta­tive appear­ance in some of the plat­form pre­views of IE9 (although it was dropped for the Beta).

Update: The arti­cle is now avail­able to read online: The CSS3 Flex­i­ble Box mod­el explained.

The arti­cle was real­ly hard to write, because I had to pro­vide infor­ma­tion about a whole new set of prop­er­ties while pro­vid­ing a tuto­r­i­al on how to use them. I ran to almost four pages in the mag­a­zine but still had to leave a few things out — hence this accom­pa­ny­ing blog post.

The first thing I want to cov­er I actu­al­ly found out about just days after I’d sub­mit­ted the arti­cle, but too late to get it includ­ed. It’s called Flex­ie, and it’s a JavaScript shiv for Flex Box, which makes it work in non-sup­port­ing browsers. It works in com­bi­na­tion with oth­er JS libraries, so to run it with jQuery, for exam­ple, you just include this before the doc­u­ment </body>:

<script src="/path/to/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script src="/path/to/flexie.js"></script>

I’ve found it’s actu­al­ly a lit­tle too bug­gy for me to con­sid­er using on a pro­duc­tion web­site at the moment, but it’s def­i­nite­ly worth keep­ing an eye on.

The oth­er thing I did­n’t have space to men­tion was about the dif­fer­ences in the Fire­fox imple­men­ta­tion vs. the spec. I’m going to write that up in a longer blog post (and sub­mit bug reports to the Fire­fox team). There are four issues I’ve dis­cov­ered so far, although I’ve worked around them in the exam­ples pro­vid­ed with the tutorial.

The mag­a­zine will be on sale this week (in all good newsagents), and I’d love to get feed­back from any­one who reads it. I have to thank Paul Irish for san­i­ty-check­ing the arti­cle before I sub­mit­ted it, and for his help­ful comments. 

There was so much more to talk about that I was­n’t able to; but there will be a whole chap­ter on the sub­ject in my book, which is due for release next Feb­ru­ary. And that’s the last self-pro­mo­tion for a while, I promise.

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